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FG Tackling Challenges To Achieve Nigeria’s Goals – Buhari

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FG Tackling Challenges To Achieve Nigeria's Goals - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government is responding to the challenges and opportunities of the moment by articulating forward-looking policies and strategies to achieve national goals.

Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, communicated this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

The statement said the president, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, delivered a virtual address at the opening of the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit.

READ ALSO: Buhari, Dangote, Others, To Represent Nigeria At The Saudi Investment Initiative

The theme of the summit is, “Securing our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now.’’

Buhari said in order to tackle existing problems and at the same time benefit from domestic and global trends, stakeholders both in the public and private sectors must take timely actions and immediate steps.

Buhari emphasized the imperative of the theme of the summit, saying the theme is compelling as it stresses the importance of taking timely action to tackle existing problems while at the same time, taking immediate steps to cope with or benefit from domestic and global trends.

According to him, growth figures are meaningless if they do not translate into good-paying jobs and improved standard of living for our people.

“The question, of course, I insist, that must be answered regarding all our policies, is what do they mean for the creation of wealth and human capacity development?

“The new plan incorporates aspects of the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy which was articulated as a guide towards achieving our poverty reduction target.

“The starting point for the implementation of the Strategy is the realization that increased employment is an indispensable tool for reducing poverty.

“The Federal Government is responding to the challenges and opportunities of the moment by articulating forward-looking policies and strategies and implementing a coherent, clear and consistent set of actions in order to achieve our desired objectives.’’

The president said that the broad objectives of the new medium-term National Development Plan are to diversify the economy, invest in critical infrastructure, build human capital and improve governance and security.

He said that the intention was to achieve broad-based and inclusive GDP growth in order to create 21 million jobs and lift 35 million people out of poverty by 2025.

“This ambitious but realizable target is consistent with the government’s vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in a decade.

“The shock caused by the pandemic which is still very much with us was that Nigeria as a developing economy is striving to become a digital economy so that we can leapfrog into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“As if this is not challenging enough, we are also required as a good member of the international community to take steps to mitigate and to adapt to climate change.

“This is not a simple matter if we bear in mind that we are reliant on oil and gas for revenues and export earnings and yet reduction of the use of fossil fuels is the frontline strategy needed for achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

President Buhari listed some of the interventions by the government which he said are yet to manifest.

He said, however, that there is still much more work to be done, especially in the context of our stated priorities to reduce poverty and unemployment.

Buhari said that the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), adopted in response to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, was centered on tackling and reducing the COVID-19 caseload, restoring growth, protecting, and creating jobs, rescuing businesses, and reducing social vulnerabilities.

“These were in addition to the priority actions that were already being taken in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan to invest in social and human capital, build power, road and rail infrastructure and improve the business environment,’’ he said.

He listed achievements in MSMEs space through the Survival Fund, adding that support is being given to exporters through the Export Expansion Facility Programme.

Buhari also listed the labor-intensive interventions in agriculture, housing, and solar power installations which are still ongoing.

On her part, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, commended the partnership with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group over the years.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, urged all stakeholders to support the Federal Government in securing the future of Nigeria. 

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Daily Headline News (Friday, 3-12-2021)

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Here are the top 5 news of the day.

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BREAKING: Comedian Cute Abiola Regains Freedom From Navy

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BREAKING: Comedian Cute Abiola Regains Freedom From Navy

Popular comedian Abdulgafar Ahmad, who’s otherwise known as Cute Abiola, has regained his freedom from the Nigerian Navy after spending 21 days in detention.

Cute Abiola was said to have been missing on Monday, November 15, 2021, when his colleague in the comedy industry, Debo Adedayo aka Mr Macaroni, raised the alarm that he was nowhere to be found after reporting at his office in Navy Town, Lagos, that same day.

Two days after the alarm was raised, Naval spokesperson, Commodore Suleman Dahun had announced that the funnyman wasn’t missing but was detained for contravening the military laws by posting a video of himself in military uniform on social media, an act which is said to be in violation of the armed forces’ social media policy.

Dahun had also added that the comedian failed to show up when called upon to explain himself but only returned after the expiration of his leave on November 15, 2021, and was put behind bars the same day.

Giving an update on the comedian’s situation, the naval spokesman maintained that Cute Abiola knowingly violated the armed forces’ social media policy but was given a punishment after he was tried for misconduct and indiscipline.

He added that the funnyman is no longer in the naval detention as he has been released to serve his punishment.

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Omicron: State Govts Resume Testing, Demand Funds

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Omicron: State Govts Resume Testing, Demand Funds

State governments have said they will resume and increase mass testing for COVID-19 following the detection of the Omicron variant of the virus in the country.

Top government officials in states including Cross River, Benue, Delta, and Akwa Ibom who disclosed this in separate interviews, however, described the funding as a major obstacle to community testing. They sought the assistance of the Federal Government on funding community testing, particularly the running of molecular laboratories.

The states made the demand as the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the new variant had spread to 23 countries.

Canada had on Sunday, November 28, 2021, detected the Omicron variant in two travellers, who recently visited Nigeria. On Tuesday, November 30, the North American included Nigeria, Egypt, and Malawi in its travel ban list.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday, December 1, announced the discovery of cases of the Omicron variant in three persons with travel history to South Africa.

It said contact tracing on the cases had started, adding that the affected persons were in isolation.

But virologists expressed fear that the strain was already circulating in the country, but could not be detected because most states had stopped community testing.

On Thursday, December 2, Cross River State said it had begun community testing in the wake of  the discovery of the Omicron variant.The state Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu, disclosed this to one of our correspondents on  in Calabar.

She stated, “We have already resumed community sample collection and massive vaccination. However, vaccine hesitancy and high cost of running molecular laboratories have been part of our challenges.

She added that the state had already requested the Federal Government’s assistance in that regard.

Also, the Benue State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Professor Joseph Ngbea, said that the state had stepped up the testing rate.

The commissioner,  who spoke on the matter said that the state action committee on COVID 19 had evolved a new strategy to test people following the discovery of the new variant.

He explained that the state had continued to fund the COVID19 committee, which had started going to churches, mosques, schools, and internally displaced persons’ camps to conduct the test. He said, “We have stepped up testing capacity of people for COVID 19 in  Benue and we are very high now. We target  schools and churches and some people who want to be tested do send for us and we do meet them and get them tested.”

He called on the Federal Government to increase the budget for research to be able to tackle the spread of COVID -19.

The Delta State Government, on its part said it would resume testing immediately to check the spread of the Omicron variant.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. More Ononye, stated this in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday in Asaba. He said, “We will resume testing because it is proper that we maintain the tempo in curtailing the spread.

For a long time now, people have stopped observing the COVID-19 protocols but with this, it is a wake-up call to everybody especially this Christmas season.

So we are advising communities to wake up for the use of all these interventions. We are doing more sensitisation for people to get vaccinated because there is a lot of complacency.”

Ononye said the state was expecting technical and other forms of assistance from the Federal Government to stop the spread of the virus.

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